Ioan Gruffudd "dying" to play darker roles

Morgan Jeffery
Photo credit: ABC

From Digital Spy

Hornblower no more! Ioan Gruffudd surprised us all with a delightfully devilish turn in ITV's Liar last year and now he's returning to our screens in another role that's far from a square-jawed hero.

Gruffudd takes on the title role in Alibi's Harrow, with his Dr. Daniel Harrow a forensic pathologist living in Brisbane, Australia who has a disregard for authority and difficulty maintaining personal relationships.

So far, so House, but there's much more to Daniel… he has an unfailing empathy for the dead, and is hiding a dark secret that threatens him, his family and his career.

Photo credit: ABC

"These characters are a lot more interesting than some of the characters I've played in the past," the actor tells Digital Spy, when reflecting on both Harrow and his role as rapist Andrew Earlham in Liar.

"When you're younger, you're going to be cast as the heroic, earnest leading man. But I've been dying to play these sort of parts. As an actor, you believe you can do everything, but I haven't perhaps quite looked right for these parts [before]. Now I'm meeting these characters at the right time, and I'm chomping at the bit!"

Gruffudd says he was "over the moon" to be offered first Liar and later Harrow, with his new show allowing him to "jump from being a curmudgeonly, selfish, know-it-all to a bit of gallows humour at work, combined with a loneliness and an inability to keep a relationship with his ex-wife and his daughter".

Photo credit: ABC

"To his ex-wife and daughter, it seems that Daniel pursues justice for his dead bodies more than he pursues being a good father or good husband," he explains. "So that's his journey, that he has to figure that out himself, before it's too late.

"Those relationships come back to haunt him again and again, and there's a fantastic reveal at the end as to possibly why [the family] had this big break-up."

It's difficult to speak in detail about Harrow's first season arc without spoiling the big twist at the close of the first episode, but suffice to say that it's a story that Gruffudd promises will be resolved by the end of the initial 10 episodes.

"There will have to be a whole other new serialised element next season," he says, with Australian broadcaster ABC ordering more Harrow back in May. "We do wrap it up, and it's a very satisfying conclusion, I think. You don't feel cheated in any way.

"There's a bit of a twist, but it's satisfying. It's very hard to explain without giving away a spoiler... but put it this way, I was very satisfied having gone on this journey!"

Harrow begins Tuesday (July 17) at 9pm on Alibi.

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